Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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Driving kills

Traffic jam

12.11.2015 –On the third Sunday of November every year, the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is observed around the world to raise awareness of thscale of the problem, acknowledge the suffering it causes and value the work of the support and rescue services.

According to the 2015 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety released last month, road traffic accidents are responsible for the death of roughly 1.25 million people worldwide each year. Also, up to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries from such accidents. The report finds that road crashes are also the eighth leading cause of death around the globe and the number one killer for people aged between 15 and 29.

People in less developed countries are the most affected, notes Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. Indeed, 90% of road traffic deaths occur in low and middle income countries and although only 54% of the world’s vehicles are in these areas. To encourage UN Member States to take urgent action, renewed attention has been paid to road safety with the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals and the establishment of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020).

To fight against this alarming phenomenon, effective laws have to be designed and enforced and vehicle safety improved. Sadly, the WHO report reveals that “less than half of countries implement minimum standards on vehicle safety.”

A number of countries have made headway with road safety through the implementation of policies to protect vulnerable populations and encouraging the use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints as well as respecting speed limits and abstaining from drinking and driving. Moreover, despite the steady increase in the number of vehicles worldwide, the number of casualties is quite stable. However, the pace is too slow if we are to halve the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020 as set in the newly-adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This year a number of initiatives have been launched worldwide. The list can be viewed here:

www.worlddayofremembrance.org/archives/archives-2015

Rememberance Traffic

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UNRIC’s Related Links:

•   2015 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety

•   World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Photo Credits:

•   Photo:  UN Photo/Nasim Fekrat

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